US funds Coast Guard icebreaker in massive spending package

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The massive spending bill that Congress approved last week includes funding for a new polar icebreaker, spending that Alaska's three-member congressional delegation has been pushing for.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the funding includes $655 million for designing and building the icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as $20 million for materials to eventually build a second one.

The measure also directs $740 million for new cutters, with six that will be based in Alaska.

It also provides $53 million for cutter support facilities in the state, with $22 million going to Kodiak and $31 million to Seward.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the passage of the spending bill is a "significant step in the right direction to an icebreaker fleet."

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